Henry Cawte was a local builder based initially at Stratton Road and later at Church Street in Shirley. He was born in Twyford in 1852. As a young man he became a carpentry apprentice in Winchester, after which he lived and worked in the USA for a number of years. Returning to England in 1880 he set up his building business, the Shirley Building Works, in Southampton in 1888. In 1922 his two sons Charles and Herbert joined the firm, which henceforth traded as Henry Cawte and Sons.

The firm was involved in some large building projects, including the new Harbour Board building on Town Quay, opened in 1925, the General Post Office in 1892 and the original Southampton Infirmary in Shirley Warren in c.1902.

Cawte was a town councilor and alderman and he was elected mayor of Southampton in 1905-06. He died in September 1930. In 1903 Union Road in Freemantle was renamed Cawte Road in his honour.


Newspaper clippings:

Obituary - (Southern Daily Echo 02/09/1930)
Employees' tribute to late Mr. Charles Cawte - (29/05/1958)


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